Author Topic: Benham Rise  (Read 16946 times)

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2017, 01:21:18 PM »
AFP chimes in: BRP Gregorio Velasquez ready for research mission | interaksyon - March 22, 2017
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MANILA - Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, on Wednesday indicated that the military establishment is ready to support "survey and research operation at Benham Rise, along with other relevant government agencies and the academe, in the name of science."

Padilla told defense reporters during a press briefing in AFP General Headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City: "It's part of the mandate of the military and other government agencies and academe to conduct research operation."

He elaborated that the research activity may be conducted by the Navy Research Vessel BRP Gregorio Velasquez, the lone such vessel of the Philippine Navy, which was formerly known as RV Merville that was part of the pledged military assistance packages from the administration of former US President Barrack Obama.

BRP Velasquez, as described by Padilla, is a research vessel that has survey capabilities, and has actually gone to Benham Rise before, as part of the survey operation in that vast sea territory, which was awarded by the United Nations as part of the Philippine continental shelf in 2012.

dr demented

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2017, 05:25:34 AM »
From the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.......

Podcast discussion regarding the recent goings-on at Benham Rise. In this AMTI podcast, Greg Poling speaks with Peter Dutton, director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College, and Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines’ Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea, to assess what the Chinese vessels were doing, whether it was legal, the public response, and what the controversy says about future cooperation between China and the Philippines.

https://amti.csis.org/podcast-benham-rise-dutton-batongbacal/


adroth

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PHL plans to rename Benham Rise
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2017, 11:13:01 AM »
PHL plans to rename Benham Rise
By Sammy F. Martin

http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=&sid=&nid=&rid=976824

MANILA, April 1 (PNA) -- The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Office of the Executive Secretary are now working hand-in-hand to explore a new name for Benham Rise.

The DFA confirmed that they were instructed by President Rodrigo Duterte to suggest in renaming Benham Rise on Saturday.

The DFA initially said that the first suggestion was to rename it to "Philippine Rise," saying that it will strengthen the country's rights over the resource-rich undersea plateau.

This after Chinese survey ships sailed in the Benham Rise area, putting a spotlight on President Duterte's dealings with Beijing.

"A motion has been made subject to the conduct of the requisite legal and logistical study to effect the change," Executive Secretary Ernesto Abella was quoted as saying..

The United Nations ruled in 2012 that Benham Rise, off the Philippines' Pacific coast, was within the country's extended continental shelf.

Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino, renamed the South China Sea to West Philippine Sea to assert Manila's claim to resource-rich islands, reefs and outcrops that are also claimed by China.

Unlike in the South China Sea, Beijing has not contested Manila's claim to Benham Rise.

Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, in a separate interview, said China has pending requests to survey Benham Rise. (PNA)

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2017, 08:16:11 AM »
PRES. DUTERTE CLEARS DAF VOYAGE TO PHILIPPINE RISE

By Manny Piñol

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1334430393306093&id=351448724937603&pnref=story

President Rody Duterte has given his clearance and blessing to the the planned voyage of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) to the 13-million hectare Philippine Rise, also known as the Benham Rise, scheduled on May 5 to 7.

The expedition, which I will personally lead along with Undersecretary Eduardo Gongona of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), will be composed of the Research Vessel MV DA-BFAR which will serve as the mother ship and at least four more smaller DA-BFAR vessels and about a dozen FB Pagbabago fiberglass fishing boats manned by Filipino fishermen.

"Go ahead and discover what could be done to protect the area," President Duterte said in his instructions to the DAF Secretary during a meeting in Malacañang Wednesday night.

The expedition will set sail from Infanta, Quezon where 38-footer FB Pagbabago fiberglass fishing boats will be awarded to poor Filipino fisher folks who will then join the flotilla bound for the Philippine Rise.

The Philippine Rise or Benham Rise is a submerged continental shelf located east of Luzon and is estimated to be about 13-million hectares.

Mainly coral formations with the shallow portion estimated to be 50-meter deep, the Philippine Rise was declared by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as part of the Philippine Continental Shelf.

Scientists and environmentalists have made expeditions to the area and declared the Philippine Rise as a rich fishing ground which could sustain the needs of the country in the years to come if properly protected and managed.

There were also reports that the area may be a rich source of oil and gas but suggestions to conduct energy explorations in the area have been opposed by environmentalists.

In the most shallow portion of the Philippine Rise, the mother ship DA=BFAR will drop anchor and members of the expedition and the fishermen will set up fish sheds or "Payao".

Accredited divers' and environmental groups who would like to join the expedition are requested to coordinate with the DA-BFAR.

The Philippine Rise expedition was earlier scheduled during the Holy Week but a Low Pressure Area spotted in the Eastern Part of the country during the time resulted in the deferment of the voyage.

#Changeishere! #PresRodyCares! #DuterteDelivers! #PhilippineRiseIsOurs!
 (Photos of the DA-BFAR mother ship and smaller DA-BFAR boats downloaded from public websites.)

Ayoshi

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2017, 04:47:40 PM »
On Benham Will Rise: Fishing dock, multi-purpose development, tech diving facility | interaksyon - May 8, 2017
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Piñol announced his plan to put up the structure on Saturday, the second of the three-day voyage, to journalists who joined the expedition.

< snipped >

Aside from a dock for small fishermen, Piñol also envisioned the structure to be a research station, with a landing pad for helicopters patrolling Philippine waters, and a jump-off point for divers and tourists.

He planned to update President Rodrigo Duterte about the expedition during their Cabinet meeting Monday, and hoped to obtain his go-signal right away.

As soon as the Agriculture Secretary gets the President’s okay, he would begin discussions with off-shore construction companies and proceed with the bidding process.

Sec. Piñol hoped to complete the structure within the next two to three years.

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2017, 11:54:42 PM »
P5 B sought for Benham Rise development
By Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 19, 2017 - 12:00am

http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/05/19/1701278/p5-b-sought-benham-rise-development

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is seeking an additional P5 billion in its 2018 budget, which will be allocated for the development of the 13-million-hectare Benham Rise as a protected food supply zone.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the additional amount is on top of the P213-billion proposed allocation next year, bringing DA’s total proposal to P218 billion.

“The proposed P5-billion budget for Benham Rise was submitted Wednesday to the Department of Budget and Management during the technical committee hearing on the DA’s budgetary requirements for 2018,” Piñol said.

The additional proposal will be allotted for DA-attached agency Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for the protection and conservation of the Benham Rise.

< Edited >

The budget will be used for the construction of a facility in Benham Rise that will house a research center for marine scientists, a dock for the local fisherfolk, an ice-making plant to keep fish catch fresh, a station for the Coast Guard, and a weather radar station.

< Edited >

Ayoshi

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Re: Benham Rise / Philippine Rise
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2017, 03:04:37 AM »
Duterte renames 'Benham Rise' to 'Philippine Rise' | Philstar - May 22, 2017
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In his order signed May 16, Duterte stressed that Benham Rise is subject to the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Philippines pursuant to provisions of the Constitution, national legislation, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and applicable international law.

EO 25 orders the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority to indicate the name "Philippine Rise" instead of "Benham Rise" in official maps and charts of the Philippines that include the region.

< snipped >

On April 12, 2012, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf approved the submission of the Philippines with respect to the limits of its continental shelf in the area.

This enables the Philippines to carry out exploration and development of natural resources in the region.

Ayoshi

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2017, 05:21:34 PM »
PH to build permanent structures on Benham Rise | Inquirer.net - September 16, 2017
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The permanent structures that the Philippines wants to put up on Benham Rise to assert its ownership over the area may rise in two years, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Lorenzana said plans were being drawn up to put up a platform on Benham Rise, which has since been renamed the Philippine Rise,  which could be used as a landing pad or a place for marine biologists who want to study the area. No funds have been allocated for this yet.

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2018, 02:55:57 AM »
Philippines questions Chinese presence at Benham Rise
By Audrey Morallo (philstar.com) | Updated March 10, 2017 - 6:40pm

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/03/10/1679794/philippines-questions-chinese-presence-benham-rise

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sent on Friday a letter to the Chinese embassy in Manila following reports on the presence of Chinese ships at Benham Rise which has been declared part of the country’s exclusive economic zone.

In a statement, DFA said that it had sent a note to the embassy of China to seek clarification on this reported incursion into the country’s territorial waters.

The Philippines also expressed its concern on the presence of Chinese ships in the area which has been recognized by the United Nations as part of the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

“The Philippines has expressed concern about the reported presence of Chinese ship in Benham Rise, which has been recognized by the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf as Philippine waters,” the DFA said.

< Edited >

"We are concerned about the presence of a Chinese ship in Benham Rise, which has been recognized by the United Nations as part of the Philippines," Ernesto Abella, the presidential spokesperson, said in a statement.

< Edited >

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2018, 06:47:46 AM »
China allowed to conduct research in Benham Rise, Cayetano confirms
By CNN Philippines Staff

Updated 11:27 AM PHT Sat, January 20, 2018

http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/01/19/Philippines-allows-China-research-Benham-Rise-Cayetano-confirms.html

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 19) —  The government has granted China's request to conduct maritime research in Benham Rise, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Friday.

Cayetano said China complied with the requirements, including having a Filipino scientist on board when they do the research.

"The Chinese ship said we will comply and there is a Filipino onboard and they will share and it benefits us. Why does it benefit us? Because there are three important things in scientific explorations — first, 'yung biodiversity, marine research, second, preservation of the environment," Cayetano told reporters, "Number 3, the minerals or the oil and gas or those that can be harvested."

< Edited >

El_Filibusterismo1978

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2018, 08:14:58 AM »
and they believe what the Chinese said on the "sharing" part?  :-[ :-[


adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2018, 08:22:51 AM »
and they believe what the Chinese said on the "sharing" part?  :-[ :-[

It would be the Filipino representatives' responsibility to ensure that they do. Or if they don't . . . to report the same to DFA.

WApinoy2

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2018, 07:57:07 PM »
This administration is too friendly with the enemy.... They already give up WPS and now they manage allow access to our eastern Sea? What the heck is going on to this administration?! I feel sorry for our country being shared by our leaders to foreign invaders.

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2018, 03:00:24 PM »
Jay Batongbacal
14 hrs · Quezon City, Philippines

https://www.facebook.com/jay.batongbacal/posts/10156126040009485

FILIPINOS HAVE BEEN EXPLORING THE BENHAM RISE REGION FOR YEARS

[Fair warning: for the first time, i am about to really rant about something]

I was going to write on this MSR brouhaha again and try to do something that could actually help this government clarify some things they just don't get, but then I am outraged by a huge hollow-block thrown against the entire FIlipino nation.

Pres sPox Roque's claim that Filipinos cannot afford to explore Benham Rise, that "no one can do it", that the Philippines "needs China" to do it, and "only China qualifies" is completely wrong, based on ignorance, a serious disservice to Filipino scientists in particular and the Filipino people in general, and an over-exaggeration of China's potential role in Philippine ocean sciences.

In the first place, FIlipinos have been exploring the Benham Rise Region for years now:

1) From 2004-2008, then again in 2010, the DENR's National Mapping and Resource Information Authority sent BRP Hydrographer Presbitero on multiple bathymetric and hydrographic surveys of the Benham Rise Region, producing a highly detailed 3D digital bathymetric model (resolution of 1 meter for an area covering 30 million hectares) of the entire region compliant with the highest quality standards of the International Hydrographic Organization. That was a Philippine vessel with full Filipino crew (mariners of the Coast and Geodetic Survey Division) funded completely by the Philippine government. That batheymetric model was absolutely necessary for the Philippines to support its claim to the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles with 2D and 3D geomorphological analysis.

2) For the past decade, the DA's Bureau of FIsheries and Aquatic Resources has been annually conducting fisheries research and experimental fishing expeditions in the Benham Rise Region, particularly in areas between the coast of Luzon and Benham Bank, to determine the tuna fishery potential of its waters. This has been undertaken by the M/V DA-BFAR multi-mission research vessel for so long, that BFAR has confidence in promoting and opening the region as the country's new tuna fishing ground.

3) Two oceanographic research cruises have been organized, funded by the DOST, supported by DA-BFAR, and with the participation of the University of the Philippines, De la Salle University, Silliman University, and other academic institutions (apologies as I forget), which gave the Philippines its initial glimpse of Benham Bank, the shallowest portion of Benham Rise. These were done in 2014 and 2016. A third cruise is being planned for this summer 2018 (fingers crossed). All are crewed by Filipino scientists, marine science students, Navy and Coast Guard technical divers, and mariners. Supplementary support/assistance so far was provided by Oceana, a non-government organization advocating marine resources conservation, in the form only of a remotely-operated vehicle unit and technicians to control it, and additional scientists and technical divers to augment the 2nd expedition's personnel. Both previous expeditions were Philippine-funded, the same goes for the planned third cruise. The first people to actually descend and "touch" Benham Bank 50m below the Pacific, were Filipino technical divers. That's our "Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon" historical moment.

4) Since 2016, the UP National Institute for Geological Sciences and UP Marine Science Institute have been collaborating with counterpart institutions from Korea and Japan, namely the Korea Institute for Ocean Science and Technology, and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, to begin initial exploration of the seabed in Benham Rise itself under separate memoranda of agreements. As I understand it, among other things, the Philippines intends to get seabed core samples through this arrangement, which push forward the resource assessment and exploration efforts for the Rise.

5) Geologists of the UP NIGS have acquired and reviewed available public domain data from multiple scientific research cruises by multiple nations that have passed through the Benham Rise Region, and produced academic papers and analysis of their own, which were used as evidence to support the claim to Benham Rise. The detailed tectonic history, geological characteristics, and underwater topography have been determined and analyzed by these Filipino scientists, and their findings tested and and papers validated by foreign scientific advisors as well as the scientific community through the continental shelf claim process and the academic press.

6) Marine biologists of UP MSI, UP SESAM, and other schools have been analyzing the many samples and observations that they gathered from the two research cruises, and making some interesting findings and potential discoveries on their own. These are Filipino researchers, earning salaries and wages from Philippine sources, and working in accordance with stringent scientific standards and procedures on par with anyone else in the world.

7) In addition to the small research vessels of UP, DENR and DA-BFAR, the Philippines now has a deep-sea research vessel in the form of the BRP Gregorio Velasquez that was handed over to the Philippine Navy by the US. This ship used to be the USS Melville, carrying a crew of 23 plus up to 38 marine scientists on board, and was formerly operated by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. It played a key role in US oceanography for over 45 years, and is still going strong. The PN, in collaboration with marine science institutions, is developing its own capacity to operate and maximize the use of this venerable vessel for hydrography and marine science. Last summer, the PN and UP-MSI took the ship "around the block" conducting a running MSR data-collecting cruise spanning the waters of Mindoro, KIG, Southern Palawan, the Sulu Sea and Tubbataha Reef. Even the PN, with multi-purpose ships like the BRP Davao del Sur, has demonstrated that it can operate in the area, and with appropriate crew and equipment, can host all manner of research activities in addition to military purposes.

8) By the way, the Philippines has yet to explore the possibilities of using new technologies that are becoming fast accessible and affordable. Technologies and techniques for manufacturing floating and underwater autonomous vehicles (sometimes called "gliders" or "drones") guided by artificial intelligence, each unit costing around USD100,000 each, have been offered for free to the Philippines by at least one friendly country, not China. This could mark a new era in indigenous marine resource exploration in the near future. Other countries are already using these gliders to conduct oceanographic researches in the deep ocean at a fraction of what they used to cost. A small squadron of AI-guided gliders could quickly conduct deep seabed exploration in the deep oceans at much less expense than even current levels. And I have no doubt that the Philippines can do it as well.

FOR GOVT TO SAY THAT FILIPINOS NEED CHINA TO EXPLORE BENHAM RISE AS IF THERE IS NO ONE ELSE THAT CAN DO IT IS BOTH A BRAZEN FALSEHOOD AND A DISSERVICE TO THE HARD WORK AND DEDICATION, THE TALENTS AND CAPACITIES, OF THE FILIPINO SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY, a number of whom I have worked with and call my colleagues and friends. I have had the privilege of working on international legal claims with these talented people, through the Tubbataha Reef Particularly Sensitive Sea Area Application before the International Maritime Organization, and the Extended Continental Shelf Project which generated TWO claim documents (one for Benham Rise Region, successfully submitted and validated, and another for the Western Palawan Region which up to now has been sitting on somebody's desk, but that's another story entirely) for the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.

Although China is indeed a formidable scientific force in the contemporary ocean sciences, IT IS BY NO MEANS THE ONLY ONE. To date, even without China, the Philippines has been able to assemble its own modest scientific expeditions, and continues to develop its capacities and capabilities to do so, both on its own and with willing partners. CHINA IS AN OBVIOUS OPPORTUNITY, BUT NOT AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY. To imply that only China can give the Philippines any hope in exploring and exploiting Benham Rise is a twisted and gross exaggeration of its potential role in cooperation with the Philippine marine science community. While the possible benefits from cooperation with China should be recognized, we should not be fixated with it.

THE LIMITATIONS UPON PHILIPPINE MARINE SCIENCE CAPACITIES AND CAPABILITIES IS NOT SO MUCH A MATTER OF POVERTY AS IT IS A MATTER OF PRIORITIES. The modest efforts to date demonstrate that with the proper budgetary support from government and clear research goals and objectives, as well as a good vision and great confidence in our own people and expertise, the Philippines CAN do these things on its own. It may take longer, and may be more difficult, BUT WE HAVE SHOWN THAT WE CAN DO IT. We may have relatively few marine scientists and even fewer marine science vessels, but they have done a lot despite limited resources. What more if government actually gave the sector the attention and respect it deserves?

THIS GOVT'S DENIGRATION OF FILIPINO SCIENTISTS AND FILIPINOS IN GENERAL, CLAIMING THEY CANNOT EXPLORE BENHAM RISE WITHOUT CHINA OR CHINESE MONEY, IS A TOTAL SHAM MEANT TO DISEMPOWER AND DEMEAN FILIPINOS AND THEIR CAPACITY AND CAPABILITY AS A PEOPLE. IT MAKES FILIPINOS APPEAR HELPLESS, CLUELESS AND PENNILESS ON SOMETHING ALREADY DEMONSTRATED THEY ARE NOT. WE ARE NOT A NATION OF BEGGARS FOR SMALL CHANGE, EVEN THAT COMING FROM A COUNTRY AS BIG AND RICH AS CHINA.

adroth

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Re: Benham Rise
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2018, 03:11:26 PM »
They already give up WPS and now they manage allow access to our eastern Sea? What the heck is going on to this administration?! I feel sorry for our country being shared by our leaders to foreign invaders.

We have NOT given up the WPS. That statement is not mere opinion, but verifiable fact.

Adding teeth to claims

Duterte orders AFP to occupy PHL islands in South China Sea

Published April 6, 2017 3:38pm
Updated April 6, 2017 7:01pm
By TRISHA MACAS, GMA News

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to seize islands in undisputed Philippine territory in the South China Sea.

Palace: Independence Day at Pag-asa part of Duterte's independent foreign policy
By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated April 7, 2017 - 5:06pm

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/04/07/1688612/palace-independence-day-pag-asa-part-dutertes-independent-foreign

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to celebrate Independence Day on Pag-asa Island would be symbolic of the administration's independent foreign policy, a Malacañang official said Friday.


FF15 deployed to Pagasa Island for SND Lorenzana's visit



Progress.

FINALLY . . . the PN's own FB page shows improvements to BRP Sierra Madre

https://www.facebook.com/navalforceswest/posts/1448060261915503



That means . . . information about these improvements are fair game. This how the garrison NOW looks on Google Maps.



This is how it looked during the previous administration. Contrast this with the condition of the ship today. Details of what else has been done within the vessel are not open to the public.



From: http://www.dbm.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/SARO/2017/SARO%20RELEASES%20AS%20OF%20DECEMBER%2022,%202017.pdf